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Features Health & Wellness

Macon County Public Health reviews health concerns

Macon County Public Health recently issued Macon County’s State of the County’s Health Report (SOTCH) for the calendar year of 2013. The purpose of this report is to inform community members, leaders, and organizations about Macon County’s progress on certain health issues. It also provides the most current data on a number of leading health indicators such as county demographics, leading causes of death, chronic disease mortality, access to care, and health promotion.

The SOTCH Report highlights the county’s achievements and set-backs realized during the year in relation to the three health priorities identified in the 2012 Comprehensive Community Health Assessment. These priorities included reducing the incidence of chronic diseases related to obesity; reducing the incidence and mortality rates associated with breast, colorectal, and lung cancers; and promoting the recruitment and retention of primary care physicians and dentists.


WestCare recognizes three staff members quarterly with the 212° Award for consistently outstanding job performance. Referring to the point at which water boils, the award was named 212° to honor those who are doing their jobs “at 212 degrees.”

Winners for the fall quarter included Becky Wilkes with Human Resources, Mike Gibson with Food and Nutrition Services, and Sarah Rish, RN with Harris Radiology. Winners are selected through a voting process by the ESP (Every Single Patient) Council, which is made up of staff representing all work areas in the organization.


Western North Carolina Pediatric and Adolescent Care welcomes Dr. Nicholas Jernigan, who will begin seeing patients at the practice early in January.

Dr. Jernigan completed a combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas after receiving his Doctor of Medicine degree from East Carolina University.

A board-certified physician in pediatrics and internal medicine, Dr. Jernigan most recently practiced with Wilmington Health in Wilmington, N.C., where he was a board member with the Miracle League of Wilmington and the Physicians Healthcare Collaborative. After practicing medicine for three years in a general practice setting, Dr. Jernigan looks forward to focusing specifically on pediatric care.



Due to an increase in influenza (flu) activity throughout North Carolina, as of Jan. 3, Angel Medical Center (AMC) is asking that family and friends limit their visitations to patients in the hospital. In particular, Angel is asking children under age 12 and people who do not feel well, to call patients rather than visit them.

Mission Health has implemented this precaution at all Mission Heath member hospitals in western North Carolina: McDowell Hospital in Marion, Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine and Angel Medical Center in Franklin.


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